Zahira College takes immense pride in announcing the participation of Aazil Murajudeen, a 16-year-old pugilist and gold medalist from Zahira College, in the upcoming IBA Junior Boxing Championship. Aazil, who clinched the gold medal in the All-Island School Games, is embarking on a journey to Yerevan, Armenia, to represent Sri Lanka on the global stage.
This significant event marks a crucial milestone in junior boxing, attracting 448 young talents from 58 nations worldwide. These promising athletes will showcase their boxing skills and sportsmanship until the event’s culmination on December 4.
The IBA World Junior Boxing Championship serves as a stepping stone for budding talents like Aazil to aspire to exhibit their prowess and make a mark on the international stage.
Murajudeen has successfully participated in all premier boxing tournaments, including the L. V. Jayaweera Boxing Championship, T. B. Jayah Novices Boxing Meet, the Stubbs Shield Championship, and the Junior National Championships, winning accolades for his exceptional talent and endurance.
A glance into the history of Zahira College, established in 1892, reveals its pioneering role in introducing and promoting boxing in Sri Lanka. As early as the 1920s, boxing became a popular sport at Zahira, and the school quickly formed a formidable boxing team that brought international glory to Ceylon.
Albert Perera, a former student of Zahira, secured the Flyweight championship of Ceylon and was recognized as the Best Boxer. He played a pivotal role in securing the Layton Cup for three consecutive years from 1943 to 1945. A glittering star in the boxing ring, Perera participated in the 1948 London Olympics and represented Ceylon at the 1950 British Empire Games, earning a silver medal. He dedicated his life to boxing and later became the national boxing coach.
M.S.M. Nalim, later a Major in the Ceylon Army, captained the University of Peradeniya and was known for his aggressive boxing style. Unfortunately, his ferocious punch, which made history at the Peradeniya Campus tournament, led to the university banning boxing from its sporting curriculum—a decision that marked the end of an era in the history of sports at Peradeniya.
Another notable Zahira College boxer was M.S.M. Ikram, who commenced his career in 1967. In 1970, Ikram became the national champion and represented Sri Lanka at the “Tata Sports Festival” in India. In 1975, he was appointed captain of the Sri Lanka boxing team for the “King’s Cup” International Competition in Bangkok, Thailand.
Zahira has produced a galaxy of boxers, including T.N. Saldin, the Packeer and Halaldeen brothers, Hameem, Rauf, Samidon, and Former DIG Samsudeen, all of whom brought fame and glory to Sri Lanka.
During the tenure of Mr. Wolsey Fonseka, undoubtedly one of the best coaches in Sri Lanka at the time, Zahira College produced talented pugilists. After a hiatus of 50 years, it is heartening to witness Zahira emerging once again as a powerhouse in Boxing.
As we cheer for Aazil Murajudeen, let us also celebrate the unity of nations coming together through the spirit of sportsmanship and competition. We extend our heartfelt wishes to Aazil, carrying the hopes and pride of Zahira College and Sri Lanka into this esteemed global championship.